Welcome – Adam Fettes

We would like to welcome Adam Fettes to the Community Advisory Group at Fremont YSC.

Adam is a huge soccer fan, from his playing days as a child, and to now watching his boys practicing and playing with Fremont YSC. Adam is bringing his expertise in Business Development to the group, and we all look forward to having him join us on our soccer journey. Adam fits the Fremont YSC profile of understanding the need for kids to play, and how the kids are the central focus of a youth organization, allowing the kids to take ownership and to be in an environment for the athlete to grow not just as a player but also as a human.

Continued Education, with Raymond Verheijen

Earlier this month Fremont YSC Director of Coaching, Gavin Carvalho, attend an educational event with Raymond Verheijen. Raymond Verheijen is held in high regard throughout world soccer, having coaching positions with the Dutch national team, Welsh national team, and consulted for world heavy weights Argentina.

Individual Training within the Team Environment
Presented By Raymond Verheijen

100% of all sports coaches in the world want their players to give 100% when they are on the pitch, so why are coaches not giving 100% of their effort at the same time?

With statements like this, Raymond Verheijen set the tone for the day of instruction by letting all the coaches in attendance know that he wanted, and we needed to be as good as we can be at every possible opportunity.

Addressing the individual player
“Players can learn from what a coach says, but more from how the coach behaves on and off the field”
Every player learns in their own way, be it visual, auditory or kinesthetic and our responsibility as a coach/educator is to find the most optimal method of learning for each individual player. At Fremont YSC, each activity is shown with a group of players where the coach describes the activity and the focus for the auditory learners, demonstrate the activity for the visual learners and run the activity for the kinesthetic learners. This process ensures that every player’s optimal learning style is addressed, and each player has the best opportunity to learn.

Tactical Situations
The individual player’s roles and responsibilities can be communicated and demonstrated to the player within the team’s tactical sessions. It is a challenge for the coach to use the optimal learning method to address the educational needs of the player in that moment. Coaching the individual player during the game situation provides for the optimal coaching opportunity as you are working within the reference point. The player can see the direct impact of his learned actions to reinforce the behavior.

Football Analysis
Coaches must create the environment in practice and games that allows the players to see the problems, try out solutions, fail and learn the correct solution. The most ideal way is to allow them to play the game with minimal stoppages and offer short, concise instructions to players when they are off the ball.
Players can evaluate and find solutions in the game, It is our responsibility to ask the right questions to help them find the answers.

Raymond Verheijen focuses on the “what”. The “What” relates what you are going to teach, the point is made clear that the “how” cannot be told to us as our environment is completely different to his and the vice versa. The “What” is made clear by using reliable references.
Each coach must have a reference for each practice session and activity that is a part of it. This ideally is the real game scenario, a 11v11 game played on a full-sized soccer field. The coach can recognize areas to improve from the real game scenario to then address directly in the practice sessions. This would qualify as Objective Knowledge References as they are real game scenarios and can be relied upon.
It is important that we refrain from using Subjective Knowledge References, which refer to personal experiences and interpretations of those experiences. For example, a coach that reflects on his past playing days and says “Back in my day, we used to run 30 laps and do push ups after every practice, we were the best around”, that is the “Coach’s truth” as opposed to “The Truth”. Today’s truth is that those activities can be incorporated into the soccer practice through purposeful practice that is relevant to soccer specific fitness. We also cannot use a Barcelona vs Madrid game as a reference point for U13 Boys as their environment and more importantly, they’re “truth” is different than ours.

Per Verheijen’s Philosophy, Soccer is comprised of 4 different parts, very simple they are:

1. Communication: Refers to the tactical ideas and composition of the team and club. Sessions create complex scenarios and involve many players.
2. Decision Making: Refers to the execution of technique. Guided discovery is the primary coaching tool that is used. Asking the players purposeful questions about the in game scenario to engage them, help them find solutions which are they’re own which gets their buy-in and develops trust.
3. Executing decisions: Refers to the technical ability (dribbling, passing, shooting and defending) to execute the decisions. Focused on in the younger age groups, can be small sided to encourage repetition but must still have opposition.
4. Fitness: Ability to execute soccer specific actions at an optimal rate for the duration of a 90 minute game.

Verheijen stresses the importance of inputting the players into an “uncomfortable” environment to create the optimal learning experience, i.e. a challenging environment that is relevant to the game and activities/games that finish on goal, which is like the real game. The challenging environment can easily be created by inputting opposition into the majority of soccer activities that include the transition from attack to defense (we to they) and defense to attack (they to we).

Presidents Day, Message of Togetherness

We would like to take this moment to ask that everyone remind their child of the importance of being accepting of all players, no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, or anything that could isolate an individual for being different. Occasionally we hear of a young child say something inappropriate to another player, and sadly the individual does not realize the tone or content of what they are saying. Kids can be mean at times without realizing what they are saying, understanding the context, or the affect it can have on the receiver.

Something we love within Fremont YSC, is the diversity of the membership, and cultural melting pot where we can all learn something from each other’s background. Even on staff we have individuals from north America, Central America, Europe, and Asia.

With today being President’s Day, it is a timely reminder of how unity and acceptance of others is so important in life, and for the development of young people as humans. The current Presidential leadership has a lot of hatred, fear, and discrimination. Please help us today to explain to our young players on the importance of being good people, as they are the future.

Soccer should be a place of harmony, enjoyment, and a safe environment where we are all accepted, no matter the level of play, and especially the socio-cultural identity of the player.

We can’t wait to see you all on the fields, where we come one.

Stronger Together.

Euro Trip 2019 – Soccer Culture

The next installment of the Euro Academy Trip from December 2019.

Culture can cover many different areas, and blend in to other topics that differentiate the US and European soccer experience. The last post covered the difference between winning and development, and this is down to culture. This post will explore the culture in which soccer is lived.

In Europe, soccer is life, it is everything you breathe. When growing up your local town football team is everything to the player, and the team you follow stays with you, to change your team is unheard of, no matter how bad it might get.

“You can change your wife, your politics, your religion, but never, never can you change your favorite football team.” – Eric Cantona

Throughout the corridors of the academy clubhouses, the names of players who came through the youth groups are highlighted with pictures from the past, and quotes from their journey to the professional level. While these players are at the best academies in their respective countries, they feel no pressure in winning, but are encouraged to embrace a process and do what they can to be better every day. The education is vital for these players, as the reality is there is such a small chance of making the elite level even when starting from this position.

“As a kid, you obviously dream of being a professional footballer. I would watch players like Ronaldo of Brazil and pretend to be him on the playground. But I don’t think about trying to become one of the best in the world or anything like that. I just play football.”
– Gareth Bale

The game days is spectacle, where thousands of fans descend upon the stadium in their teams colors, arriving in plenty of time to start the chants of players and the club during the players warm up, and the continuous waving of flags and cheers to support the teams on the field. It’s this passion that bleeds in to the youth player. Young players will get hold of a ball before, during, and after school, with limited structured practices where kids go out and pretend to be the player they dream of becoming and learn through getting multiple contacts with the ball without an adult shouting at them to do it differently. Kids play in 2v2, 3v4, multiple age group, and a variety of playing surfaces, with no cones are structured goals, where they use their creative thinking and problem solving to get a small game going. No adults, no referees, and no league tables. This is street soccer, the most efficient and effective way for a player to learn. Our challenge in the US is the over structure of the game, and the adultification of telling the kids what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, not giving the youth player the freedom to make their own decisions.

Where the culture bleeds in to other areas of youth soccer, is the direction and dream of the player. In Europe the dream is to play for the team you support, to represent a foundation of a community, whereas in the US, the dream is of the illusive college scholarship. One rewards the intrinsic motivation and desire of a player, while the other is transactional.

How Can You Help

  • Encourage and support the youth player in believing in the process. Support their development through empowering the player to make their own decisions in an environment free of pressure.
  • Stop chasing brackets, trophies, and league championships. These are just a short term result of a priority placed on winning, and not the long term growth of a player. Its this pressure that burns out a player and results in the 70% drop of of players at 14.
  • Make the game intrinsic, create a passion for the sport over the importance of a transaction in putting in money now for the reward of a scholarship.
  • Be aware of the life lessons that are available through sports participation, being respectful, humble, passionate, and having a purpose, will set the player in a positive direction for their adult lives.

“I don’t believe skill was, or ever will be, the result of coaches. It is a result of a love affair between the child and the ball.”
Roy Keane